The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has said that Nigeria spent about N4.74 trillion on importation of petrol last year.
Kachikuwu added that it represented 30 per cent of the total foreign exchange outlay of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
”The importation of petroleum products between January and December of last year amounted to about 20 million metric tonnes”, he said, while replying the Senate on plans to refurbish Nigeria’s creaky refineries.
The minster further denied reports of the concession of Port Harcourt Refinery to Oando and Agip companies.
”A total amount of N3.4 trillion was spent, the consumption of FX from CBN was approximately 30 per cent of CBN total FX outlay, and the logistic costs of that importation was about N1.34 trillion within the same one year period.”
On domestic refining capacity, the minister said the nation produced six million litres out of a total consumption of about 35 million litres per day.
”In the midst of this sort of statistics, it was absolutely critical that we move in to try to end importation of products, improve our refineries and get them up to 100 per cent.
”We are looking for financing of the repair and upgrade of the refineries. We are not concessioning refineries, it is simply a financing package,” he said.
Kachikwu said the government would invite the original refineries builders for the three refineries to undertake the repairs but stressed that it had not selected any financier for the repairs.
”Once we identify those individuals and see how we can make contacts with those who built the refineries – Saipem in Warri; JGC in Port Harcourt; and Chiyoda in Kaduna, to ensure that we go back to them.’
He said such step was necessary ‘’because they (builders) have the designs, engineering outlay and upgrade capabilities, and in some cases, they have the access to spare part.
”If we are going to achieve this within the timeframe we gave, we are going to meet them and I think we have largely decided that those are the people we should use,” he stated.